Social media users have different experiences, motivations, and quality of life

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While the number of individuals participating in internet-based social networks has continued to rise, it is unclear how participating in social networks might influence quality of life (QOL). Individuals differ in their experiences, motivations for, and amount of time using internet-based social networks, therefore, we examined if individuals differing in social network user experiences, motivations and frequency of social network also differed in self-reported QOL. Two-hundred and thirty-seven individuals (aged 18-65) were recruited online using the online platform Mechanical Turk (MTurk). All participants completed a web-based survey examining social network use and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale Abbreviated Version (WHOQOL-Bref) to assess QOL. Individuals who reported positive associations with the use of social networks demonstrated higher QOL while those reporting negative associates demonstrated lower QOL. Moreover, individuals using social networks to stay connected to friends demonstrated higher QOL while those using social networking for dating purposes reported lower QOL. Frequency of social network use did not relate to QOL. These results suggest that QOL differs among social network users. Thus, participating in social networking may be a way to either promote or detract from QOL.

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